Author: Madaleine L'Engle
Info: Yearling Books, copyright 1962, 211 pages
It was a dark and stormy night; Meg Murry, her small brother Charles Wallace, and her mother had come down to the kitchen for a midnight snack when they were upset by the arrival of a most disturbing stranger.
"Wild nights are my glory," the unearthly stranger told them. "I just got caught in a downdraft and blown off course. Let me be on my way. Speaking of way, by the way, there is such a thing as a tesseract".
Meg's father had been experimenting with this fifth dimension of time travel when he mysteriously disappeared. Now the time has come for Meg, her friend Calvin, and Charles Wallace to rescue him. But can they outwit the forces of evil they will encounter on their heart-stopping journey through space?
We each have that book - that book from our childhood that we just remember. We remember loving it, connecting with it, and being drawn in by it as it swept us away into story. I was a reader when I was little, but I wasn't a "reader", voracious and obsessed. That would come much later thanks to Lemony Snicket and his Series of Unfortunate Events during college when I dreamed of reading anything other than history text (don't get me wrong...I loved the history books, but I also enjoyed fictional tales of individuals experiencing fantastical feats).
A Wrinkle in Time was my book. It was the first science fiction title I read. The first time I remember my dad recommending a book to me. The first time I identified with a character. The first time I didn't want the story to end.
I recently read it again for a work event at which I was going to do a reading. It had been awhile. I used to re-read it every year, but you know...life (and shiny and new books getting in the way). I was a little afraid that it wouldn't hold up, that I would be disappointed and wonder why I had loved it so much.
But if anything, I love it more now. I love Meg and her stubbornness and short temper. Her imperfections and insecurities still resonate with me so many years and life experiences later. I love Calvin and his curiosity and stability. I love Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs Which, and Mrs. Who for their wisdom and love. I love the struggle for good and the fight against darkness. I love warrior children, small and timid, who walk knowingly into danger wearing their fear but finding their courage because they believe in what is right. I love that Meg had to find her courage and her truth on her own. No one could tell her. She had to embrace all of her faults and imperfections to truly understand who she was and what she had to offer.
I love it.
It's smart and intellectual, and L'Engle didn't shy away from hard conversations and difficult vocabulary, believing children capable of understanding and embracing the story.
If you haven't read it, it comes highly recommended from this reader :)